A 39-year-old gang member was sentenced yesterday afternoon to life in state prison without the possibility of parole for a fatal drive-by shooting committed more than 20 years ago, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office announced.
On Sept. 28, 2016, a jury found Demecio Carlos Perez guilty of two counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder in case TA136425. Jurors also found true the special circumstance allegation of multiple murders as well as gun and gang allegations.
Deputy District Attorney Heather Steggell of the Hardcore Gang Division co-prosecuted the case with Deputy District Attorney Russell Moore.
Prosecutors said on Feb. 14, 1995, Perez was the passenger in a black Buick Riviera that drove into enemy gang territory in South Los Angeles. The defendant armed himself with a gun and carried out the drive-by shooting, prosecutors said.
Perez struck three men, killing one man instantly. The second victim died later that day at the hospital, but the third victim ultimately survived, prosecutors added.
Detectives began investigating the attack and identified Perez as the possible shooter, prosecutors said. Three months after the shooting, authorities obtained an arrest warrant for Perez, but soon learned he had fled to Mexico because he knew they were looking for him, according to prosecutors.
During the past 20 years, U.S. law enforcement has released bulletins calling for Perez's apprehension in hopes that one day he would be captured.
In 2015, Perez was found in Mexico and extradited to California to face criminal prosecution for the fatal shooting.The case was investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department.
Los Angeles County District Attorney / case TA136425 / January 25, 2017